FWI supports proposals for COVID-19 vaccinations by occupational doctors

The Fachverband Werkzeugindustrie e.V. (FWI) supports current initiatives to involve in-house physicians in the administration of vaccines and to create the appropriate framework conditions for this.

“As soon as there is enough vaccine available for the non-priority population groups, quick and efficient vaccination of all those willing to vaccinate will be crucial for containing the pandemic. The companies and their company doctors, with their direct contact with our employees, play a prominent role here in order to achieve a rapid increase in the vaccination rate”, says Michael Kleinbongartz, CEO of the KUKKO tool factory and chairman of the FWI.

With its initiative addressed to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, the German Society for Occupational Medicine and Environmental Medicine (DGAUM) calls for a concrete concept for the involvement of occupational physicians in the Corona preventive vaccinations. To further combat the pandemic, the potential of the existing medical infrastructure in the companies should therefore be optimally exploited to speed up the vaccination process.

The FWI therefore calls for explicit inclusion of companies in the national vaccination strategy. Companies should be supported financially and organisationally in order to be able to systematically vaccinate all employees voluntarily at company level. The offer of vaccination directly at the workplace without a necessary visit, e.g. a vaccination centre or family doctor’s practice, promotes an increased readiness for vaccination of the employees of the company. This is an important factor for a rapid increase in the vaccination rate and a reduction in the overall health infrastructure.

In order to be able to implement the increased involvement of occupational physicians in the Covid vaccination in a timely manner, it is also necessary to clarify liability issues in the sense of an exemption from liability for vaccinating companies. Similarly, regulations are needed for adequate remuneration for company doctors, companies and service providers for systematic vaccination at company level.

The German Tool Industry Association therefore calls on the state governments to examine and implement the involvement of companies in support of the current and future vaccination campaign. Already today, the Corona Vaccination Ordinance of the Federal Government explicitly provides that cooperation agreements can be concluded with company doctors “as suitable third parties” within the framework of the organisation of mobile vaccination teams (§6 (3); Version 8 February 2021). In order to ensure this across the board, continuous support for companies and the clarification of legal liability issues play a central role.

The Chairman of the FWI, Michael Kleinbongartz, underlined the urgent need for action: “Only together will we find a way out of the pandemic and overcome the economic challenges of the crisis. The health well-being of our employees is the highest priority for our companies. We therefore see the inclusion of workplace health structures with voluntary vaccination at company level as a valuable contribution to the pandemic control.”

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